The importance of play

Play is one of the four ways Sport NZ supports New Zealanders getting active, alongside physical education, active recreation and sport. A child’s earliest physical experiences are through play and it’s also where they develop and practice life skills. Play allows children to experience fun, joy and laughter in a way that is important to them.

In the resources below, learn more about Sport NZ's commitment to promoting and advocating on the importance of play for tamariki and Aotearoa New Zealand. See the play principles that help guide our work in partnering and collaborating with others interested in play, and find out how you can encourage play and what to think about when designing spaces for children’s play.


Find what you were looking for?

Take this short survey to help us improve your experience on this website.

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us at and we will be happy to assist.

Get Active

Find a sport or recreation activity

Browse Directory
Sport NZ

Who we are and what we do


Information on funding


Stay updated

Me whakahoutia

Sign up to our regular newsletters that connect Sport NZ to all those involved in the play, active recreation and sport sector.